With the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Watertown went over 20 this week, and the number of cases surpassed the 300 mark, Town Council President Mark Sideris encouraged residents to remain vigilant in efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
Town Manager Michael Driscoll gave the latest Coronavirus numbers for Watertown at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting: 331 confirmed cases, 148 have recovered, and the town has 22 COVID-19 related deaths. The numbers rose from 298 cases and 19 deaths as of May 7.
Sideris said that the virus has already taken too high a toll in Town.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to all people who have lost family members, never mind only in Watertown, but across the country and across the world,” Sideris said. “Here in Watertown we have lost 22 people and that is 22 too many.”
He thanked the citizens of Watertown for the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, and said he believes the effort must continue.
“I want to also reiterate the fact that we aren’t done yet,” Sideris said “Some people are getting antsy, and I understand that and we all understand that.
“All the councilors are continuing to try keep everyone informed about what’s going, but it is important for citizens to understand that we need to follow the guidelines so that we can save lives, and those 22 deaths, we want to keep that number as close to that as we possibly can.”
Driscoll noted that Gov. Charlie Baker gave the first details of a four phase opening up of Massachusetts, including creating Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.
The workplace requirements include social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting work areas, and hygiene practices such as hand washing. The timeline and which industries and types of businesses would open in which phase have not been announced. Read the announcement from the Governor’s Office here).
“We need more guidance from Gov. Baker for the reopening,” Driscoll said. “Once we receive that we will share it to the residents of Watertown.”
Statewide, there have been 78,332 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 5,141 virus-related deaths, according to the May 12 Mass. Department of Public Health update. Middlesex County has 17,953 confirmed cases. The number of confirmed COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Massachusetts is 3,095.
According to the Town-by-Town rates of positive cases through May 6 released by the MassDPH, Watertown has a rate of 919.43 cases per 100,000 people (which is based on 303 cases). In comparison, Belmont has a rate of 666.52, Waltham 1,308.14, Newton 641.03, Boston 1,543.81, Cambridge 732.36, Somerville 862.31 and Arlington 541.38.
The state has a requirement for people to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when inside a store, public place and on public transportation. It also should be worn outside in instances when social distancing (keeping at least 6 feet apart) cannot be maintained.
Steps that can be taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Stay safe, stay home
- Practice social distancing – when in public spaces try to remain at least 6-feet away from others.
- Stay home if you are sick – and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth – when you cough or sneeze use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
- Wash your hands – with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based sanitizing gel.
More information is available at:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Resource Page:
Center for Disease Control COVID-19 information:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html